Many people think that designing and making an Evening Gown or National Costume for the local winner to the international pageants is an easy task.


A lot of thought and preparation goes into designing and construction of these bespoke garments.

Besides enhancing their appearance, the dresses should also reflect their individual sense of style and personality.  These pageant gowns designed and customised will make a major contribution to their chances of progressing to the next level or, ultimately, winning. 

Pointers to consider are the wearer’s body proportions, the style, colors, and fabric choice of their pageant dresses. 

And most importantly, the designs need to be suitable for the occasion. 

The National Costume should designed with strong and bold colors enriched with rich textures or heavy embellishments, which best reflect what your nation is about. The design has to be made to stand out, not only under stage lighting but also looks fabulous on all forms of media and print.

National Costume - Final 1 

Miss Universe Singapore 2011, Valerie Lim wearing HAYDEN National costume – Top 30 National Costume that year.

Evening gowns can be designed with solid block colors that will normally stand out under stage lighting. But sheerness with embellishments of crystals, bead and feathers play an important role in today’s pageant world. That aside the most important pointer is that the cut, make, fit and detailed embellishments should be that of Haute Couture and be made to appear that the wearer is gliding on that stage!

MUS 1987 Marion Nicole Teo in Top Ten wearing HAYDEN Evening Gown

Miss Universe Singapore 1987, Marion Nicole Teo wearing HAYDEN Evening Gown in Top 10 that year.

Mrs United Nations 2011 1RU Vanessa Tan wearing HAYDEN Evening Gown

Mrs United Nations 2011 1RU Vanessa Tan wearing HAYDEN Evening Gown

All gowns have to be made of good quality, natural fabrics that will be comfortable to wear.  Silk is often favoured for evening pageant gowns, because of its beautiful sheen, flow and luxurious feel, but also because it drapes well and keeps its shape. 

Shoes should always complement your gowns in style and color, and have a heel height that is suitable for the time and the event. Shoes of 5.5inches are today’s standard in the pageant world.

When selecting their shoes, make sure that they, like the dresses, are not only fashionable, but also as comfortable as possible, because the way they walk and stand will attract the attention of the judges. 

By choosing shoes and a gown that is easy to wear as well as attractive, they will be doing a lot to ensure that this attention is favourable.

Accessories are to enhance the outfit, not to steal the show. Make sure the accessories they wear do not distract from the gowns.

For the National Costume, if the look requires loads of jewellery then just go for it – BUT most importantly, ensure that it is tastefully putted together!


For the Evening Gown, minimum accessories will showcase the wearer’s personality and poise, definitely an opportunity to make a winning statement!

Pageant gown designing is indeed a genre and like any other art form;

there will be lovers and haters.

It is not just that simple solution of designing and dressmaking!

But if they think it is really that easy to design

and make them, you are most welcome to come try!


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